What I Learned in December

Breaking radio silence to link up with Emily today, provided I get to some sort of reasonable stopping point before Jem wakes up from his nap.  But I actually DID learn several interesting things this month, so it’s as good an opportunity as any to jump back into writing after a lovely holiday break.


1.  Black and tan go together.  I have been living in the olden days when black and brown were mortal enemies, and it’s been putting a cramp in my style, as my favorite boots are brown and most of my clothes are black.  Enter the revelation from my sister Leslie: Black and tan have made amends and can now be seen in public together.  Hooray! Are gray and khaki next, or is that asking too much?

2.  Disney’s still got it.  I have not been to seen an animated movie since Finding Nemo, but over the Christmas break I saw Frozen TWICE and super-loved it.  (The first time was for Leslie’s bachelorette party and then I took Abby to see it the following week.)  Abby whimpered, afraid, through the whole movie, but we stayed through to the end and she hasn’t stopped raving about it since.  We downloaded the soundtrack, which I can hear blaring from Abby’s room at this very minute.


After Abby whimpered through the whole “scary” scene where Anna and Hans danced and sang together, I opted to let her have a snack in the lobby during the snow monster’s cameo appearance.

I love that it’s a story about sisters, and that the princess doesn’t get rescued by the prince, but she still gets her man in the end.  It feels like a perfect balance of girl-power and happily-ever-after.  And I could just cry every time I hear Idina Menzel sing “Let it Go.”  I don’t quite understand why.

3.  You can eat carrots with the peels on.  Hilah Johnson writes, “I usually would never suggest peeling a carrot, but if you are having the Pope over for crudites, it might be a good idea.”  (from Learn to Cook) I have not entertained the Pope even once, but I have always peeled carrots even for cooking.  Needless to say, I was skeptical.  So today I served unpeeled carrot sticks for lunch, and guess what–there is no difference.

I feel like I’ve added 100 years to my life, because I will be eating so many more vegetables and because I get back all the minutes that I would have spent standing at the sink peeling carrots.  I might go get a master’s degree with all my spare time.  Or at least get a basket of laundry put away every once in a while.

4.  We’ve just discovered Chuck on Netflix.  We’re finishing up Season 1 and really enjoying it!

5.  12 days is a really long time.  At the end of a school year, there’s always someone who “See you in 12 weeks!” because it sounds so depressingly short, but by the end of July everyone is bored out of their minds and dreaming of #2 pencils and Trapper Keepers.  I’ve felt the same way about the 12 days of Christmas.  Maybe it’s because our Advent was not austere enough; I’m feeling Christmassed out and it’s only the fifth day.  We caved and opened all of our gifts on Day 3.  I don’t know how the party animals of yore kept up their Christmas spirit for so long.  We’ll tweak our plans for next year, and I’m sure you’ll hear all about it.

20131230-143929.jpg6.  Instagram is fun.  My post “I Spy Something Beautiful” was such a fun project, I decided to open up an Instagram account and use it as my place for year-round treasure hunting.  I don’t follow many people, so it’s not another social media time sucker for me, but it’s a fun place to store my pics, and at the end of the year I might ask for one of these printed Instagram books as a record of the loveliness of the year.

7.  Sick days are as wonderful as I’ve always dreamed they’d be.  I took one the Sunday before Christmas, and I’ll tell you all about it in a later post.

8.  There is a mouse living in my laundry room.  Now that we know it’s there, Stephen is determined to kill it, which means my appliances are pulled away from the wall and the whole room is even more of a disaster area than usual.  This little incident, which happened yesterday, also gave me first-hand knowledge of what the floor looks like underneath and behind my washing machine.  There’s a mental image I wish I could un-see.  Anyway, now the room is full of mousetraps and barricaded to keep the kids out and the mouse in, and it’s a big pain.  Not to mention there’s a MOUSE in my HOUSE.  (Not as charming as Dr. Seuss would have you believe.)


9.  I tried two new Christmas cookie recipes this year that were both good:  Spiced Holiday Sugar Cookies from McCormick.com and Colorful Crinkle Cookies from Parents’ Magazine.  (In searching for the second link, I also discovered that the website for Parents is super annoying to navigate!)


10.  My New Year’s Optimism springs eternal.  More reflections on 2013 and unrealistic aspirations for 2014 to come!


8 responses to “What I Learned in December

  1. I love you and I love reading your blog posts. The phrase “unrealistic aspirations for 2014” made me smile and I just said that out loud to Cliff. He told me I should tell you that. So I did.
    Also I just bought a leopard print scarf so I can feel better about wearing brown and black together. I have been living in those days too where I feel like they don’t match at all.

    • Thanks! And, ditto.

      I definitely use scarves to make my brown and tan make sense…I feel like my camel-colored scarf over a black shirt or cardigan is the only way to make my brown boots work. I’m wearing that combo right now, in fact!

  2. Yay…black and tan. I’m in love with gray and brown too. I’m getting more free every day concerning my taste in color. Also, I have become a fan of Instagram since I created my Bible based photo challenge. Funny, I talk about both these things on my “What I Learned” post too. I adore your I Spy Something Beautiful project. How wonderful. A-dorable photos. And…thanks for the heads up on the printed Instagram books. I see at least one of those in my future. Blessings to you.

    • Thanks for coming by, Lisa! It’s always fun to find out when someone else has been learning the same things, in a totally different context.

      I’m excited about the idea of the Instagram book, too. Always makes the online world seem more real to get it in a hard copy. 🙂

  3. Hee hee! I *nearly* bought a grey/khaki striped cardigan today. I put it on hold and when I ran back in from dinner, they were closing their doors two minutes early. Wasn’t meant to be. Go for that brown and black, girl! I’m trying to convince Mike that it works for guys, too…not buying it, yet.

    I’m sorry about the mouse (ew). I will definitely have to see Frozen and I’m utterly amazed by this carrot revelation! So glad you’re on instagram and one day I will have to do your beauty-around-the-house post. It was so memorable and lovely. I adored it.

    And my 12 days of Christmas…with two days left before going back to work (tear) has been way too short. At least I will have some new pencils. 🙂

    • Totally agree that going back to school in the spring never feels as right as in the fall. Maybe a weekend trip to see Frozen will be a good pick-me-up soon?

      And good news- the mouse has been vanquished. So now I just have to pull out the appliances and give the room a good sweep and mop, and we’ll all be happy clams once again.

  4. I am making a pot roast today and now I am considering NOT peeling my carrots. I’m very excited about this possibility and the extra time it will afford me!

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